Big changes coming to coaching certification

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Latest news is that USTA will start requiring from 2021 that all USTA-affiliated clubs and all clubs which run USTA-sanctioned tournaments must employ only coaches certified by an accredited organization, namely only USPTA (and not USPTR) at this time.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
That's just a crazy power move.
I think the USTA should be declared a monopoly and split into 3 parts, like what was done to AT&T and other companies:

- A part which runs the US Open (and only the US Open, with the US Open Series being disbanded and becoming just regular tournaments as before)

- A part which runs High Performance coaching for American pros, college students, and high-level juniors.

- A part which runs recreational leagues.

Each should be an independent entity and offer services to the other two entities on the same terms as any other client, and be independently financially responsible.

While the first part would be free from any competition, the second and third parts would have to compete. The HP part would need to compete with private academies, and the rec part with UTR and other private leagues.

I think it is very difficult due to this reason: the USTA was deemed the governing body of US tennis by an act of Congress. Which moron thought tennis was important enough to have a government stamp on it and allow one body to decide the future of the sport?

At this point, only the USPTR can issue a legal challenge, but from what I read, they are trying to get accredited too.

Quite brilliantly, the USTA has hyped-up SafePlay as a reason for uniform standardization, and that is sure to appeal to the tennis parents who are always paranoid about child molesters and so forth, ignoring the fact that many clubs require background checks already.
 
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I think the USTA should be declared a monopoly and split into 3 parts, like what was done to AT&T and other companies:

- A part which runs the US Open (and only the US Open, with the US Open Series being disbanded and becoming just regular tournaments as before)

- A part which runs High Performance coaching for American pros, college students, and high-level juniors.

- A part which runs recreational leagues.

Each should be an independent entity and offer services to the other two entities on the same terms as any other client, and be independently financially responsible.

While the first part would be free from any competition, the second and third parts would have to compete. The HP part would need to compete with private academies, and the rec part with UTR and other private leagues.

I think it is very difficult due to this reason: the USTA was deemed the governing body of US tennis by an act of Congress. Which moron thought tennis was important enough to have a government stamp on it and allow one body to decide the future of the sport?

At this point, only the USPTR can issue a legal challenge, but from what I read, they are trying to get accredited too.

Quite brilliantly, the USTA has hyped-up SafePlay as a reason for uniform standardization, and that is sure to appeal to the tennis parents who are always paranoid about child molesters and so forth, ignoring the fact that many clubs require background checks already.
Hopefully clubs run UTR tournaments instead and the USTA loses money.
 
Nothing new, they have been doing his for years...… ask yourself why your dues and price of tournaments keep going up.

US(R)TA just trying to build a system that has a guaranteed revenue stream.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Nothing new, they have been doing his for years...… ask yourself why your dues and price of tournaments keep going up.

US(R)TA just trying to build a system that has a guaranteed revenue stream.
This IS new, because it directly affects employability.

The other news is that, apart from USTA-controlled clubs, there is a new campaign to convince all private clubs to also hire only coaches coming out of the new system.
 
Latest news is that USTA will start requiring from 2021 that all USTA-affiliated clubs and all clubs which run USTA-sanctioned tournaments must employ only coaches certified by an accredited organization, namely only USPTA (and not USPTR) at this time.
Wow. Can you post the source for this? This is ridiculous. Thanks for the info.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Wow. Can you post the source for this? This is ridiculous. Thanks for the info.
Partial info:

  • Finally, USTA Member Org Clubs with four courts or more will be required to hire tennis-teaching professionals and coaches from an accreditation organization; which is US starting January 1, 2021! This step is critically important because it will influence the job market for USPTA members.

https://www.uspta.com/USPTA/Membership/Member_Resources/USTA_Accreditation.aspx

Under the USTA Accreditation, USTA member organizations and tennis facilities will look to hire USPTA tennis-teaching professionals exclusively

https://www.uspta.com/USPTA/Membership/Member_Resources/USTA_Accreditation_FAQ.aspx
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
1,500 hours before you can take the test. The test includes basic things like grip types which is a lot of hours for something a college player would already know. I guess those hours were set to filter out weekend warriors from becoming certified pros.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
1,500 hours before you can take the test. The test includes basic things like grip types which is a lot of hours for something a college player would already know. I guess those hours were set to filter out weekend warriors from becoming certified pros.
Most of the hours can overlap with your job. After an initial training period, you can use your regular job hours towards the 1500 hours. Basically, it filters out people who were getting a certificate without doing a lot of actual coaching. Of course, the USTA then becomes responsible for finding them jobs with mentors to complete the 1500 hours. What cannot be done anymore is to get the certificate first with minimal time, and then look for actual coaching jobs. Many coaches were in other professions (one I know was a baggage handler for an airline) and got the cert on the side, and then decided whether they wanted to pursue coaching. That flexibility will be lost. Much more commitment towards full-time coaching will be required.

Again, that is not the real issue. The real issue is why clubs should be pressurized to hire only those who go through the process. Tennis is not a critical profession, like law enforcement, medicine, public accounting, or civil construction to justify interference with private sector capitalism.
 
USTA is going to accredit teaching organizations like the USPTA and PTR.

Requirements to become a coach are going up drastically. Now, you need 8 hours of online training and an on-court test to become a coach. The new requirements will be to get a Professional Tennis Managament degree or to become an apprentice for 1500 hours of work and study under a mentor. It is expected to take a year. Training has to include CPR, first aid, and safety. The idea is to make tennis certification similar to PGA golf certification.

I don't know. There is a guy here who coached his son to a D1 school and became a coach. He is a 4.0 player. There is a woman who was a D1 college player and is a coach at a public rec center. I know touring pros are exempted, but it would seem to me that she would also have to apprentice for 1 year?

It also looks like the USTA is telling the PTA and PTR that their process is not good enough and is overriding them.

A PTM degree takes money. Will an apprentice be paid? Are there enough such positions?

Will a knowledgeable person like LeeD have to prove himself for 1 year to become a coach?

Will there be enough money at the end? Can a tennis pro charge like a golf pro? Golf has many rich customers. Tennis is the domain of Fat Bobs who never take a lesson (and for some good reasons). Would a pro now make more after having spent a lot of money? Or will the higher quality weed out the casual ones and ensure better pay for the cream?

Above all, why is the USTA becoming the decision maker here?

Rules will kick in in 2019, so if you are a Fat Bob dreaming of becoming a coach, do it while it is easy. Existing coaches will be grandfathered.

I expect JY, tennis_balla, Ash, and 5263 to comment.

http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/issues/201803/coaching-accreditation.pdf
They should also have to come to agreements with towns and cities that require a tennis pro acquire a license to coach.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
It's absurd to me that one would need 1,500 hours to take a test about basic things like grips. However, the PlaySafe aspect is a great idea as there are a lot of weirdos teaching tennis.

Most of the hours can overlap with your job. After an initial training period, you can use your regular job hours towards the 1500 hours. Basically, it filters out people who were getting a certificate without doing a lot of actual coaching. Of course, the USTA then becomes responsible for finding them jobs with mentors to complete the 1500 hours. What cannot be done anymore is to get the certificate first with minimal time, and then look for actual coaching jobs. Many coaches were in other professions (one I know was a baggage handler for an airline) and got the cert on the side, and then decided whether they wanted to pursue coaching. That flexibility will be lost. Much more commitment towards full-time coaching will be required.

Again, that is not the real issue. The real issue is why clubs should be pressurized to hire only those who go through the process. Tennis is not a critical profession, like law enforcement, medicine, public accounting, or civil construction to justify interference with private sector capitalism.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
It's absurd to me that one would need 1,500 hours to take a test about basic things like grips. However, the PlaySafe aspect is a great idea as there are a lot of weirdos teaching tennis.
To repeat, only a portion of the 1500 hours is training - rest is just usual work which can be charged to it. The test is over after the first part, I assume.

What kind of weirdos are teaching tennis? And there are lots of them? Seems like an urban legend.
 
Probably because us don’t have good enough pros on tour so they figure out it must be the coaching of young generation s. Tighten coaching will yield better player at end. Least it’s what they hoped for.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Probably because us don’t have good enough pros on tour so they figure out it must be the coaching of young generation s. Tighten coaching will yield better player at end. Least it’s what they hoped for.
Maybe, but promising juniors already seek out good private coaches with a proven record.
 
It strikes me that the big money from the U.S.Open has completely wrecked the culture of the USTA. For years now they've been sliding into a corporatist promote-your-pals mentality, building a moat around their castle, paying absurdly big bucks to a leadership that has mis-construed the way national champions are developed.

In the U.S., the greatest champions were developed within regions, and not just by devoted coaches, but by notably devoted students who sought understanding and put forth effort. I think such students thrive best in their home region, accruing recognition for their efforts, and staying in contact with the motivating coaches or parents. The USTA system appears to me to present frustrating roadblocks to talented eager students who want to become excellent without traveling outside of their regions. A few regional commuting-distance tennis centers would have produced as many champions (and did in the past) as a huge center built under an airport departure path and in a horribly humid weather system. The Jack Kramer Club comes to mind, as well as several major East Coast clubs. Look at how Arthur Ashe was encouraged and trained. His coach/mentor was no Patrick McEnroe acolyte. For that matter, look at how John McEnroe, himself, developed: locally, with a brief stop in California.

A few clubs and regional juniors programs in the U.S. have produced more champions than the USTA's boost programs. Devoted parent/coach individuals have done very well, from the Williams sisters to Marion Bartoli. If Lennart Bergolin hadn't protected Björn Borg from the Swedish Tennis Federation in Björn's desire to keep his strokes and technique as they were, Borg would not likely have accomplished what he did. And so on. Most of the best male "products" of Bolletieri were already great when they showed up in Bradenton.

Have you been to Lake Nona? The area is a relatively high-crime cultural wasteland. Southern California, San Diego region perhaps, would have been a better choice. The USTA cited the lower cost of land and the airport as major drivers of the selection, as if a cheap swamp and quick airport shuttle were keys to a good tennis center. Unbelievable. Champion tennis players aren't built via a corporate training ladder. They are built by early attentive personal coaching relationships and local motivation.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Have you been to Lake Nona? The area is a relatively high-crime cultural wasteland. Southern California, San Diego region perhaps, would have been a better choice. The USTA cited the lower cost of land and the airport as major drivers of the selection, as if a cheap swamp and quick airport shuttle were keys to a good tennis center. Unbelievable. Champion tennis players aren't built via a corporate training ladder. They are built by early attentive personal coaching relationships and local motivation.
I get your plug about San Diego, considering how some of the top players are from there, like Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, sureshs, Coco Vandeweghe, Taylor Fritz etc.

But San Diego already has Balboa Park and Barnes, both huge tennis places. To find another big place will be very difficult. There is no place to expand. That is why the airport is so constrained.

Remember also that the clay courts will require lots of irrigation. With the Southern California droughts, getting permits for them will be very difficult.

Considering that the USTA, and now the USPTA, both have staff living in Orlando, San Diego would be a much more expensive place to live home-price wise.

@stringertom who has an intimate knowledge of the area: Is Lake Nona as bad as described? I used to live in Orlando and loved the greenery and water, but always found it to be a cheesy and cheap kind of place, with rain and humidity all the time. But I liked it all the same, and it is also usually safe from hurricanes which die out by the time they come inland to Orlando.
 
In the U.S., the greatest champions were developed within regions, and not just by devoted coaches, but by notably devoted students who sought understanding and put forth effort. I think such students thrive best in their home region, accruing recognition for their efforts, and staying in contact with the motivating coaches or parents. The USTA system appears to me to present frustrating roadblocks to talented eager students who want to become excellent without traveling outside of their regions.
The worst is for the coaches who have brought the young players to fruition - to the point the USTA notice them and then steals them away to the new Florida campus to be marginalized in the not-so-effective prototypical mould the site casts. We have yet to see a top contender come out of there, but they are great for chruning out college recruits and many sub 100 tour players. And nothing to the coach who really had them on the right path for development.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The worst is for the coaches who have brought the young players to fruition - to the point the USTA notice them and then steals them away to the new Florida campus to be marginalized in the not-so-effective prototypical mould the site casts. We have yet to see a top contender come out of there, but they are great for chruning out college recruits and many sub 100 tour players. And nothing to the coach who really had them on the right path for development.
Tennis Channel is showing a lot of NCAA tennis from the Orlando campus.

Like it or not, tennis in a big country demands a flagship center. Unfortunately, NYC the home of the USO does not qualify due to its lousy weather and lack of land.
 
I get your plug about San Diego, considering how some of the top players are from there, like Maureen Connolly, Rod Laver, sureshs, Coco Vandeweghe, Taylor Fritz etc.

But San Diego already has Balboa Park and Barnes, both huge tennis places. To find another big place will be very difficult. There is no place to expand. That is why the airport is so constrained.

Remember also that the clay courts will require lots of irrigation. With the Southern California droughts, getting permits for them will be very difficult.

Considering that the USTA, and now the USPTA, both have staff living in Orlando, San Diego would be a much more expensive place to live home-price wise.

@stringertom who has an intimate knowledge of the area: Is Lake Nona as bad as described? I used to live in Orlando and loved the greenery and water, but always found it to be a cheesy and cheap kind of place, with rain and humidity all the time. But I liked it all the same, and it is also usually safe from hurricanes which die out by the time they come inland to Orlando.
Lake Nona is as safe as any other upscale sector of Orlando but we’re not immune to hurricanes here...three in six weeks in 2004; one each in 2016 and 2017. They didn’t damage this area as badly as two of the three in 2004 but disrupted life for a few days each time.
 
Especially with you patrolling the place in your unique environmentally-friendly mode of transport.

@Curiosity probably confused it with the usual sleaze that exists close to any big airport and the nearby freeways.
The area is cheesy, devoid of culture (though Mickey Mouse is nearby, so apply your own aesthetics). The center does in fact sit under approach and departure flight lanes, which is apparently a USTA-mandatory site quality.

Regarding crime, I did not confuse the area south of Orlando airport with any other region. It attracted vast numbers of unskilled minimum-wage workers. The cheaper land (compared to the coasts) and warm winter climate ...will maintain that reality.

"The overall crime rate in Orlando is 126% higher than the national average. For every 100,000 people, there are 16.98 daily crimes that occur in Orlando. Orlando is safer than 5% of the cities in the United States."

"The chance that a person will become a victim of a violent crime in Kissimmee; such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape or murder; is 1 in 200. This equates to a rate of 5 per one thousand inhabitants."

As for San Diego: Bolletieri Academy was large enough for a major tennis finishing school. There are many excellent centers, for example in Spain, that find a much smaller piece of land suffices: It is the quality of the coaches (and climate) that make a difference. Supporting college tennis has little to do, on average, with producing world-class pros. For that matter, it has little to do with college. San Diego county offers many spots to plunk down twenty tennis courts and a few coaching/training buildings.
 
Tennis Channel is showing a lot of NCAA tennis from the Orlando campus.

Like it or not, tennis in a big country demands a flagship center. Unfortunately, NYC the home of the USO does not qualify due to its lousy weather and lack of land.
Suresh, why on earth does a big country "demand a flagship center"? It makes more sense to view the nation as a collection of regions. Each region needs a center convenient to the young talented players, one that will not pull them away from family, friends, and especially from the coaches who brought them to a high level of skill. It is true that most countries with much smaller populations and land areas have a center. If we modeled our country on Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, etc. then we'd conclude that we should have twenty or thirty "centers," and spread the US Open profits around to support coaches and players in those centers who proved their worth over time.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Suresh, why on earth does a big country "demand a flagship center"? It makes more sense to view the nation as a collection of regions. Each region needs a center convenient to the young talented players, one that will not pull them away from family, friends, and especially from the coaches who brought them to a high level of skill. It is true that most countries with much smaller populations and land areas have a center. If we modeled our country on Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, etc. then we'd conclude that we should have twenty or thirty "centers," and spread the US Open profits around to support coaches and players in those centers who proved their worth over time.
USTA Regional Training Centers

Currently, USTA Player Development is partnered with five Regional Training Center (RTC) programs across the country. Now more than ever, the very best coaching and instruction the USTA has to offer can be found closer to home.









National Training Centers

USTA National Campus - Orlando, Fla.

The USTA National Campus is a 100-plus-court, state-of-the-art facility serving as the touchstone for tennis in the United State is built over 63 acres of land in Orlando, Fla.

USTA Training Center East - Flushing, N.Y.

The USTA Training Center - East is located at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Flushing, N.Y., one of the largest public tennis facilities in the world. Operated by the USTA for the city of New York, the facility opened in 1978 when the USTA moved the US Open from the West Side Tennis Club in nearby Forest Hills.

USTA Training Center West - Carson, Calif.

The USTA Training Center - West is located at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The StubHub Center is a 125-acre development featuring state-of-the-art stadiums and facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball and other sports.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
As for San Diego: Bolletieri Academy was large enough for a major tennis finishing school. There are many excellent centers, for example in Spain, that find a much smaller piece of land suffices: It is the quality of the coaches (and climate) that make a difference. Supporting college tennis has little to do, on average, with producing world-class pros. For that matter, it has little to do with college. San Diego county offers many spots to plunk down twenty tennis courts and a few coaching/training buildings.
Clay and grass courts both would run into problems with environmental issues. Though there are some clay courts around here (2 in San Diego and 4 in Carlsbad), and the 2 new ones are really new and red clay, I am sure a big USTA center would attract more attention to its water usage.
 
USTA Regional Training Centers

Currently, USTA Player Development is partnered with five Regional Training Center (RTC) programs across the country. Now more than ever, the very best coaching and instruction the USTA has to offer can be found closer to home.









National Training Centers

USTA National Campus - Orlando, Fla.

The USTA National Campus is a 100-plus-court, state-of-the-art facility serving as the touchstone for tennis in the United State is built over 63 acres of land in Orlando, Fla.

USTA Training Center East - Flushing, N.Y.

The USTA Training Center - East is located at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Flushing, N.Y., one of the largest public tennis facilities in the world. Operated by the USTA for the city of New York, the facility opened in 1978 when the USTA moved the US Open from the West Side Tennis Club in nearby Forest Hills.

USTA Training Center West - Carson, Calif.

The USTA Training Center - West is located at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The StubHub Center is a 125-acre development featuring state-of-the-art stadiums and facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball and other sports.
The "regional training centers" get a drop in the bucket, financially. The selection represents neither a targeted funding of the best coaches nor the greatest density of rising national junior players. The centers chosen also seem to have a political criteria attached.
The three "national training centers" are simply the huge Orlando center, the pre-existing Billie Jean King facilities, and a 3-rd party (Anschutz) financed sop to California, which has fewer tennis courts than my suburban township. If you wish to recognize the nearby Cal State courts, my neighboring township has...more courts than that.

The financial commitment outside of the BJK NTC and the Orlando center is minimal.

My criticisms stand.
 
My impression was that the USTA's primary mission was to increase tennis participation and that the USPTA is an independent entity that does its own teacher certification.

If I go to an instructor all I care about is whether he is USPTA certified. I don't see where the USTA comes into the picture with regards to instructional certification... But maybe the USPTA is completely under the thumb of the USTA and will adapt whatever requirements the USTA hands down.

Founded in 1927, the United States Professional Tennis Association is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 15,000 members worldwide, the association raises the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches, and promotes a greater awareness of the sport. USPTA offers more than 60 professional benefits to its members, including on-court liability insurance, health insurance assistance and a retirement plan.​
USPTA offers unequalled opportunities for tennis-teaching professionals to improve their teaching skills and increase their business knowledge. Today's tennis teachers are expected to assume a variety of business and social responsibilities in addition to their traditional job functions. USPTA helps prepare its members to meet these challenges.​
USPTA is governed nationally by a democratically elected Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The daily administration of USPTA is overseen by the CEO at the World Headquarters in Lake Nona, just outside of Orlando.​
Approximately 13,500 USPTA members work in the United States. The rest represent more than 80 countries around the world.​
The majority of USPTA's membership consists of Professional and Elite Professional level members who work full time in the tennis industry. USPTA Professionals have job titles including general manager, director of tennis, assistant professional and coach. They direct tennis businesses, develop tennis programming, oversee tennis operations, teach lessons and coach teams at all types of facilities, such as private and commercial clubs, public tennis centers and parks, colleges and schools. A small and growing part of the membership includes Recreational Coaches, who are part-time teachers of tennis.​
In my opinion, the new certifications should have an emphasis on the business side of tennis as much as on the on-court side. Today's coaches need to know how to build a business, a membership, run a facility, handle budgets and human resources, and raise and mange funds as much as teach how to hit a forehand. I would like to see what the curriculum is for the 1500 hours required to become certified. I would also like to see the specific, stated goals of this new program and policy. What are the purpose and goals of creating this certification? What is supposed to be taught/learned? Is the emphasis on coaching, or on business/management skills? What's the mix? How will this help the tennis industry and grow the sport of tennis? I see a need for training and a specialized, required course/degree/certification for someone interested in running a tennis/sports facility. What are the benefits to someone with these new training requirements and the people who want to hire them? What makes it worth the time/money/effort investment? What are the specifics? Is there a blue print, or is every PTM program at every college different? What, exactly are the requirements for the USTA/USPTA to certify a PTM program? How will coaches having this certification change the industry and the sport? How will having the certification change the employ-ability and incomes of coaches who have it? What are the goals, purpose, and benefits for member coaches, for employers, for the industry, and for the sport? What is the regional/local availability of these programs of study? What is the ratio of classwork to on-court work? Is the classroom learning available online? Is there a network of local/regional tennis facilities that can be contracted to provide the on-court portion of the requirements, or would a candidate have to move geographically to complete a legit PTM program? How have these issues been addressed? These are not criticisms. These are legitimate questions that members and future members would like to have the answers to. I am willing to work with the USTA and USPTA to help identify solutions to the issues regarding this certification effort, if some one will reach out.
 
Teaching and coaching is big business worldwide now! IMG Academy, Rafael Nadal Academy, Justin Henin Tennis Aademy, etc... They are in competition with all the certifications outfits and in the U.S. with USTA in many respects. But USTA try to say they are working in coordination with these academies!
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Question: Should a 4.0 teach tennis?

I watched a 3.5/4.0 give a father and daughter a lesson this week. The guy volleys with a forehand grip but is pretty good at singles. Should he be teaching? Should there be some standard or just keep it as the wild west. I tend to side with more freedom but it's sad to see a kids get taught the "wrong" things.
 
Question: Should a 4.0 teach tennis?

I watched a 3.5/4.0 give a father and daughter a lesson this week. The guy volleys with a forehand grip but is pretty good at singles. Should he be teaching? Should there be some standard or just keep it as the wild west. I tend to side with more freedom but it's sad to see a kids get taught the "wrong" things.

4.0 is the minimum to teach and the skill for technique and ability to teach can vary greatly in what I have seen. For par, I have seen some amazing players that should NOT be trying to work with anyone and seen 4.0 guys with decent strokes that can engage and teach like nobody's biznezz.
 
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